I’ve been writing about the Friday gossip dump and lately having to be on high alert for Bennifer because of all the speculation that their marriage is in crisis. As it happens, there WAS actually an announcement on Friday, just not the one people have been bracing for. 


Still, for Jennifer Lopez, it wasn’t good news: she’s cancelled her tour, with Live Nation confirming that she “is taking time off to be with her children, family, and close friends”. In a statement posted to OnTheJLo, JLo said she’s “completely heartsick and devastated” about having to make this decision, although she probably wasn’t the only one taking part in it. For weeks we’ve been hearing about weak ticket sales, and I wonder if it wasn’t to the point where it would cost more to produce and tour the show, with even the promoter and the venues losing money on it, and obviously her too. 

So JLo hasn’t broken up with Ben Affleck (yet) but she did break up with this tour. And now there are people conspiracy theorising that all these marriage rumours might have been part of some kind of strategy, like a way to lay some groundwork ahead of the tour cancellation so that she would have some kind of excuse once the tour cancellation confirmation was released. People have been talking for weeks about the state of her marriage and how difficult it must be for her, and therefore she wouldn’t have to admit that the tour was a flop – she could point to not wanting to be without her family instead. In other words, she intentionally made us think her marriage was a flop so we wouldn’t think her tour was a flop?


Sorry, but this, to me, is absurd. 

First of all, on the basic level of how to handle comms, it’d would be a terrible scheme: distracting from bad news with bad news accomplishes nothing. And in this case, that theory is SO off-brand from what we know of Jennifer Lopez, violating the two guideposts that hold up JLo’s entire image, upon which everything about JLo’s public persona is based. These are the two attributes that are essential to JLo’s identity: she loves love and she’s a hustler. Suggesting that she would actively have a hand in telling the world that her fairytale marriage is in trouble because she wants get out of going on tour is antithetical to who she is, fundamentally. She was rehearsing up to the very last day for that tour. So to go back to my point up above about how it wasn’t just her decision – I think she was probably the last holdout to try and save it, right up to the eleventh hour, until her hand was forced, by the label and the promoter. 


Second, well, it’s the Occam’s Razor of it all. Why do we need to make this more complicated?! Jennifer Lopez has never been Stranger Things, we don’t need 500 Reddit threads theorising the plot points. The marriage is in trouble. Her album and the tour are in trouble, it’s that simple. Why do we need to layer on a conspiracy theory about her faking or leaking the marriage crisis details – unless, of course, it’s to add to the pile-on. Like the voracious appetite for hating her isn’t quite satisfied that both her marriage and her tour are flopping at the same time, we need another layer of manipulation to throw on there so that the schadenfreude feels even better? 


Right now, it already looks bad enough for her. Once again, for the umpteenth time in her career, people are rubbing their hands together with delight over her personal and professional misfortune. And don’t think she doesn’t know it either. Why, then, would she bother with an elaborate distraction tactic, using the potential failure of yet another marriage, to add to the tour cancellation? 

Yeah, but Lainey, they tried to play it off in the statement like she’s cancelling because she wants to spend time with her family, and not saying that it’s because of the bad sales. 

Have you ever read a statement about a cancellation where the artist pretty much says, “Hey, so we have to cancel this tour because I’m a flop, nobody wants to spend money to come see me and they think my songs are mediocre, sorry”. Spending time with family is a blanket reason for everything, it’s about as neutral as it gets, and the fact that she’s cancelled in and of itself is conceding to the bloodthirst out there for her. She gets it, it’s been widely reported, everyone could see for themselves on ticket sellers how many seats were still available for all those shows. By celebrity standards, it’s as good as any admission that she knows nobody cares. That’s still a grave that people can dance on. You can have at it without an extra conspiracy theory thrown on top of it. 


So that’s where we are for JLo professionally – she’s tapped out temporarily, she’s going to reset, and if history has taught us anything, don’t count her out because this girl doesn’t stay down for long. 

As for the marriage? She and Ben were seen on several occasions over the last few days spending time with family, and there were actually some smiles, and even some handholding. The smiles and the handholding aren’t the headline though. Today the headline is that they air-kissed instead of real-kissed, fueling the belief that if it’s not over, it will soon be over because it’s not like these two have ever been shy about actually kissing each other on the lips. 

This, for sure, is concerning. No other way to read it. Because we’ve seen the PDA over the last three years, and what they’re giving now is definitely not that. Also, this air-kiss moment has a predecessor. Remember the Oscars in 2003? She wore the mint green Valentino and they were on the carpet together and the cameras captured a quick kiss but he was looking away and, at the time, the take on that was that he was starting to check out. 

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez arriving at the 75th Annual Academy Awards, March 2003

It would be another nine months before they officially broke up but that kiss was the kickoff to the funereal march. Is that what they’re fated to be once again? There are a lot of people waiting to dance on that grave too.